28 Mar 2024
 | 28 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Climate Denial – the Antithesis of Climate Education: A Review

Gerald Kutney

Abstract. Survey after survey from across the globe suggest that climate education is floundering, despite climate education being embedded in international treaties to address the climate crisis (the UNFCCC and subsequent Paris Agreement) and the latest scientific assessment reports (IPCC) stressing the importance of climate education. The IPCC also acknowledges forces hostile to climate education, namely climate denialism sponsored by the energy-industrial complex. The latter fought the science of climate change and climate education by unleashing one of the greatest propaganda campaigns in history using the denial machine. Climate change is studied by the physical sciences, but climate denial is the purview of the social sciences; the latter have revealed the why and how of climate denialism and the inner workings of the denial machine. A major psychological factor is individual fear among conservatives that climate change legislation represents a threat to their values and identity, and to protect their ideology they turned to climate denialism, also known as the “climate change countermovement” by sociologists. Climate-denial organizations, supported by the energy-industrial complex, are interfering with the teaching of the science of climate change to our children. A purpose of this review is to draw attention to the growing threat of climate denialism to climate education, supported by specific examples of the influence of the energy-industrial complex in primary and secondary school classrooms.

Gerald Kutney

Status: open (until 23 May 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-339', Lars Kamél, 01 Apr 2024 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Gerald Kutney, 01 Apr 2024 reply
      • CC2: 'Reply on AC1', Lars Kamél, 10 Apr 2024 reply
        • AC2: 'Reply on CC2', Gerald Kutney, 10 Apr 2024 reply
          • CC3: 'Reply on AC2', Per Karlsson, 13 Apr 2024 reply
            • AC3: 'Reply on CC3', Gerald Kutney, 13 Apr 2024 reply
              • CC4: 'Reply on AC3', Per Karlsson, 13 Apr 2024 reply
Gerald Kutney
Gerald Kutney


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Short summary
This review examines the current state of global climate education, which shows that a problem exists and considers the causes and possible solutions. The problem does not appear to be climate education directly, or climate communication or climate science. Climate denial is the external force blunting the impact of climate education. Specific examples of climate denial in schools in North America and Europe are examined and how to deal with it.